Challenges hamper another housing initiative

Constraints remain

09 March 2021 | Infrastructure

Windhoek • Yolanda Nel

Limited funds and the cancellations by beneficiaries are only some the challenges the City of Windhoek (CoW) is facing to complete another housing initiative to provide affordable housing for those living in the informal settlements in the capital.
The specific project covers Havana Proper, Onyika Number 2, Goreangab ext. 4, Greenwell Matongo D, Otjomuise ext. 8 and 9, and Freedom Land A and B.
The latest initiative is a joint venture between the Khomas Regional Council, the CoW, the National Housing Enterprises and the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development and was launched in July last year. This initiative aimed at constructing 1 200 houses built over a two-phase period, with the first 600 houses expected to be complete by June this year.
Reacting to questions posed by Windhoek Express, the CoW’s spokesperson Harold Akwenye said that “it is not feasible to complete the houses by June 2021 due to a number of challenges”.
He said that construction already began on 13 August 2020, but that they are facing serious issues.
“There is limited funding, beneficiaries cancelled and the drafting and approval processes of plans is taking much longer,” he said. “There is also a delay in acceptance of the project by beneficiaries and a lack of available plots for the construction of the housing units.”

Previous projects
Windhoek Express reported earlier that another housing initiative that had been approved by council in March 2019, never took off due to financial constraints. Asked if this first project would replace the project recently announced, Akwenye said that the approved Affordable Housing Program would definitely continue.
“It forms the basis for the implementation of the Informal Settlement Upgrading Housing Pilot Project. [However], the budgetary constraints are real and once provision is made in the new financial year, the construction of houses in Green Field will commence,” he said.
Three affordable products are available, namely basic shelter, one and two bedroom houses as well as land ownership.
Vice President Dr Nangolo Mbumba said at the launch of the project, that it is aimed at assisting residents who live in informal settlements are who are without proper shelter. “Access to land, basic municipal services and housing continue to be among the priorities in our national development policies and strategies.”

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